Home // Music // Playlist: Leah McFall
Leah McFall Home Playlist Planetnotion.com

Playlist: Leah McFall

The Will.I.Am-backed singer uncovers the origins behind her maximalist pop sound with a Playlist of  gorgeous blues, soul and funk on the eve of the release of epic single ‘Home’.
Rickie Lee Jones – Night Train

One of my most inspirational singers and artists from I was a child is Rickie Lee Jones. This is one of the many artists my Dad introduced me too. The album ‘Rickie Lee Jones’ is full of blues/jazz tracks that I know every single word & riff too. The subject matter of her songs are always ambiguous. She then uses the different personalities and tones in her voice to paint the story, which is often so childlike and innocent. Turned out this song in particular is about a mother who is about to have her baby taken off her, so she runs away with her child, and it was this song in particular taught me that playing with the tone in your voice can often evoke more emotion than the actual lyrics themselves. Diction is not a priority to her, but personality and tone are. I love that. She is so unique. 
 
Fred Hammond – No Greater Love

I learnt a lot from gospel singers. And this song with Fred Hammond is one of my absolute favourites. Barely a week goes by without me listening to this song. Gospel singers are so free. Every noise they can make, even if a bit weird, they make it. Maybe it comes from being less self aware cause they are worshiping, I don’t know.  But whatever it is, I love it. The vocal note placements are so often unexpected, and I find the lyrical content so beautiful. Particularly in this song. I also loved about gospel inspired pop artists growing up, like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Ray Charles. 
 
Michael Jackson – Off The Wall

Love.This.Song!! And this whole album. And all his albums!! I’m pretty sure there are hardly any musicians and singers that don’t claim Michael Jackson as a massive inspiration to them. And they can probably explain why that is a lot better than I can. But Michael Jackson was my first love. I was just intrigued from such an early age, his fashion, his stage presence, the Bass riffs, the vocal hiccup noises, the harmonies… a dream. My dream. With every album I just felt he kept getting more iconic. No one will replace him. Imagine being an artist that no one could ever say ‘You are the next…’ ?! There just isn’t a ‘next Michael Jackson.’  This song in particular taught me how much music can effect your mood. And the power of the perfect marriage of lyric and melody. You can’t help but feel like life is fun listening to this tune. Enjoy yourself. Life ain’t so bad at all. Even when you realise you will probably never master the moondance…
 
Erykah Badu – Rimshot

I love the live version of this song. The bass makes me feel like I’ve just eaten ice cream. I can’t even explain that comment…its just that good. Erykah became one of my favourite artists in the past 4 years or so, and probably will be for the rest of my years if i’m being honest. Her tone is so relaxing and I always put her live album on when i’m a wee bit stressed and need to chill. When she sings, no matter the content, you can always feel how much she is in love with music. And its infectious. This song is literally about being in love with sounds your drummer makes and falling in love with him for it…probably something most singers can relate too. 
 
Destiny’s Child – Get on the Bus

Basically my teenage years can just be summed up with ‘Destiny’s Child’. Everyday, every party, every school bus ride, every saturday watching MTV, every dance routine made up in my living room – ‘Destiny’s Child’. Destiny’s Child made me proud to be female, and want to be more sassy in my songwriting (if I was ever cool enough to pull off the word ‘sassy’…) At 15 this song made me want to have a boyfriend just so I could break up with him and say ‘Get on the Bus’ , instead I went with a slightly more Belfast version ‘On your bike, mate’. Similar nevertheless. My favourite instrument is bass. And the riff on this song is a bass dream. I had my lovely talented friend Wayne Mathews play it with me for my cover of ‘Get on the bus’ on my youtube channel, and he absolutely nailed it. Timberland will always be one of my favourite producers, always loved the beatbox beats he infuses in his music.. probably why I’m obsessed with having a beatboxer (BeatFox) for my youtube covers and invited him tour with me. 
‘Home’ will be released on July 27th on Capitol Records.


Leave a Reply